Tuesday, September 9, 2008

No ISA For Ahmad Ismail

The call by Gerakan Wanita to have Ahmad Ismail detained under the Internal Security Act must not be acceded to.

Judging by media reports of the events in Penang at his latest press conference, yesterday what Ahmad Ismail did and said are not easily reconciled nor accepted. I found him and what he said to be offensive. People I know felt the same way, some were also made fearful and anxious, though whether about Ahmad Ismail or whether UMNO was going to use this to its advantage it is hard to say.

Having said that, what Ahmad Ismail did and said are not grounds for a detention under the ISA. Nothing can be. The law is draconian, inhumane and wholly against constitutional freedoms that are central to our existence as Malaysians in a modern, democratic Malaysia.

If Ahmad Ismail has done wrong, and I believe that enough has been said and done to warrant at the very least an investigation into incitement crimes under the Penal Code, then charge him for his crime and give him his day in court. He, like everyone else in this country, deserves that. As repulsive as we may find him or his values or his politics, he is innocent until proven guilty.

Investigations underway are apparently into an offence under the Sedition Act. I have written elsewhere that the offence of sedition, as defined under the Sedition Act, is in my view unconstitutional for contravening the freedom of expression guaranteed under the Federal Constitution. Though not absolute, the constitution limits incursions by legislature to those that are necessary in the interests of democracy and proportional to the wrong sought to be curbed. The Sedition Act does far more.

Charge Ahmad Ismail, let bail be opposed if it must, but do not detain him under the ISA.

MIS

24 comments:

Andrew said...

Yes, let this man face the court of law as many police reports had been made. Give him his day and due in court for him to say his piece.

Note that we cannot just sweep all his rantings under the carpet as it would mean that what he said carries weight. It will allows his followers to think highly of his antics and follow him blindly as he certainly have the wealth to flaunt about.

Let us not give him too much attention to the point where he thinks he is like a main 'actor' in a new movie named 'M'sia bolih'with his unmalaysian style.

donplaypuks® said...

Malaysian's have still not understood the Rule of Law.

You can't ask for Pakatan-led reforms and then still come swingeing in with the ISA. After all, when a former PM made similar remarks about 'pendatang' no one talked about shutting him up with the ISA.

The smart thing for MCA, Gerakan & DAP to do now would be to take a strategic back-seat and let UMNO sort out its mess and not be sucked into red herring racist taunts.
http:donplaypuks.blogspot.com

Moniker Monica said...

Hear, hear.

Too often I find that we are opposed to the ISA when it comes to our "lefty" types of political heroes. The HINDRAF 5, RPK you name it. The moment any UMNO or BN politician does something as inflammatory as this, we are up in arms for the ISA again.

I have even heard suggestions by some PR supporters to keep it on, so that when PR comes into power they can wield it against all the BN "wrongdoers." This, is not the way to acheive anything! It's regression. The first thing PR should do if and when it does come into power is to abolish the draconian, inhumane act. Simple as that. If they are to keep it and wield it against the BN, and the people stay silent on this- then we are no different from those deviant BN louts.

One has to ask, are we genuine in our call for it to be abolished? Even infamous, cruel, figures like Saddam and Milosevic were given their day in court, and someone as vile and repugnant as Ahmad Ismail deserves his day too. This, is a democracy and not a semblance of one... NO ISA FOR AHMAD, I say!

Anonymous said...

I quite agree with your post. It's just that most of us are waiting to see if the government of the day will use the ISA against one of its own. And if it doesn't, well this just goes to further prove the point that the ISA is only unjustly used to suppress the voices of those whose opinions differ from that of the government's.

Miss Zet said...

Yep...my thoughts exactly. It is important that our views stay impartial and consistent regardless of the current situation. The "Ahmad" incident has resulted in many kinds of prejudices coming out among the people :
- some call for ISA arrest, like you wrote here, not realising that this is what they were condemning all this while.

- some calling all Malays as racist & claiming that Ahmad's views are shared by all Malays. This is so not true.

- some calling for the boycott of all Indian Muslim Nasi Kandar restaurant, claiming that they are supporting Ahmad and his statement. Certain readers of Malaysia Today are condemning Indian Muslims alltogether. I find these statements to be extremely biased against the Indian Muslims.

Oh, how I wished we would just grow up!

Richard said...

I agree 100% what you write but so long as the ISA is not abolish it can still be used.

We must force UMNO to use the ISA against Ahmad for his creation of racial tension, only then we can see the true color of UMNO.

One set of law for us UMNO gang and the other for those who are against us.

I had written on my blog "Why Ahmad Ismail still a free man"?
Blood-Suckers

I can bet you that if anyone other than UMNO were to act like what Ahmad had done, they would be in jail under the ISA by now.

Until the ISA is abolish we want to see that it applies to everyone who commits a crime under this law. Period.

amoker said...

Same same. Use the rule of law, at most sedition. ISA is draconian.

Anonymous said...

ISA only for INDIANS and some PAS supporters...

Nostradamus said...

Make Dunno Only. Don't Become a Racist or Satan.
-------------------------------

If you have read Anwarwood Productions latest script, you would have understood what is happening in Penang and all the news as reported in MSN, Malaysiakini, Malaysia Today and other blogger's websites. Some may have high blood pressure, a stroke or even a heart attack by now.

However, my advice to all Malaysians is , "Make Dunno Only!". Continue with your Fast, make preparations for Hari Raya and Mooncake festivals or whatever festivals coming your way.

For those who don't have any upcoming festivals to celebrate, then, may I suggest, we make preparations to celebrate Malaysia Day on 16 September which is the day Malaysia was born, 45 years ago, together with our fellow brothers and sisters from East Malaysia.

If you want to continue getting excited with the news and stories coming out from Penang, then may I suggest the following for you to ponder.

1. Ahmad says Chinese are immigrants or squatters. - Tell me who isn't an immigrant or a squatter in this world?

2. If you are sensitive to the words immigrants or squatters. - I have heard much worst than that over the past 51 years. I am already desensitised.

3. Ahmad tore Tsu Khoon pictures. - No big deal. It would be better if Ahmad had called him, Ka Ting, Sammy Veloo and all those other representatives of BN parties and slap them all instead for not conforming to the spirit of the Malaysian Constitution and doing trade bartering of rights of human beings for their own party interests.

4. Ahmad talking for all Malaysians Malays? - What about DSAI? Maybe Ahmad only represent the 50 or so followers he has. Maybe he can try buying more followers.

5. Ahmad talking for all Moslems? - What about Tok Guru? Is Ahmad an ulama?

6. Reporters get threaten and so forth. - Why are the MSN reporters there in the first place? Why after interviewing Ahmad, then run to interview other BN leaders? Is the news so important that it is worth reporting? Why don't interview Malaysians on the street and ask them what they think of Ahmad and other BN leaders.

7. Use ISA, Sedition Act and so forth. - For once, I totally agree, but it is only to be used only on BN politicians. After everyone is locked up, then abolish it.

http://patek1472.wordpress.com

HP Chua said...

Yes, I agree that ISA shouldn't be used against Ahmad Ismail. To do so would be counterproductive in the call to abolish it once and for all.

However, as "anonymous (12:35 pm) posted, some are interested to see if BN would ever use the ISA on their own members.

But highly unlikely, as ISA is a tool BN wields only when they want to silence opposition views that threaten their grasp on power.

Instead, I would hope that Ahmad Ismail is stripped of his datukship, UMNO membership and any privileges. He must be brought to the court of law and let justice deal him him properly.

And please ignore those silly SMS-es calling for the boycott of nasi kandar. It directly hurts the livelihood of innocent nasi kandar sellers and not Ahmad Ismail at all.

Nostradamus said...

Make Dunno Only. Don't Become a Racist or Satan.
--------------------------------

If you have read Anwarwood Productions latest script, you would have understood what is happening in Penang and all the news as reported in MSN, Malaysiakini, Malaysia Today and other blogger's websites. Some may have high blood pressure, a stroke or even a heart attack by now.

However, my advice to all Malaysians is , "Make Dunno Only!". Continue with your Fast, make preparations for Hari Raya and Mooncake festivals or whatever festivals coming your way.

For those who don't have any upcoming festivals to celebrate, then, may I suggest, we make preparations to celebrate Malaysia Day on 16 September which is the day Malaysia was born, 45 years ago, together with our fellow brothers and sisters from East Malaysia.

If you want to continue getting excited with the news and stories coming out from Penang, then may I suggest the following for you to ponder.

1. Ahmad says Chinese are immigrants or squatters. - Tell me who isn't an immigrant or a squatter in this world?

2. If you are sensitive to the words immigrants or squatters. - I have heard much worst than that over the past 51 years. I am already desensitised.

3. Ahmad tore Tsu Khoon pictures. - No big deal. It would be better if Ahmad had called him, Ka Ting, Sammy Veloo and all those other representatives of BN parties and slap them all instead for not conforming to the spirit of the Malaysian Constitution and doing trade bartering of rights of human beings for their own party interests.

4. Ahmad talking for all Malaysians Malays? - What about DSAI? Maybe Ahmad only represent the 50 or so followers he has. Maybe he can try buying more followers.

5. Ahmad talking for all Moslems? - What about Tok Guru? Is Ahmad an ulama?

6. Reporters get threaten and so forth. - Why are the MSN reporters there in the first place? Why after interviewing Ahmad, then run to interview other BN leaders? Is the news so important that it is worth reporting? Why don't interview Malaysians on the street and ask them what they think of Ahmad and other BN leaders.

7. Use ISA, Sedition Act and so forth. - For once, I totally agree, but it is only to be used only on BN politicians. After everyone is locked up, then abolish it.

http://patek1472.wordpress.com

captazhar said...

Agreed. Abolish the ISA. Leave the law to the courts. Charge him and bring him to court.

On another note, keep the Army, Navy and the Air Force away from politics! It's not the role of the Chief of Army to make comments regarding matters such as this political incidents nor is it in his capacity to recommend the government to take any action.

two-face said...

MIS

Ahmad Said remarks, Hindraf memo, Bar Council’s open forum on Islam…. all are insensitive to others. Does openness or facts be tolerated in total without considering the feelings of other people? Is it ok to be open and shout I hate Jews, Malay, Chinese etc although maybe it is a fact?

It’s getting dangerous and I mean really dangerous. It was unheard of for the Chief of Armed Forces to come out with a warning not to incite racial hatred, officially. I am reading his statement between the lines.

No matter which sides you are in, no one will win if our beloved country is in ruins. Menang jadi arang, kalah jadi abu.

Even ISA will be of no use then.

Anonymous said...

Imtiaz,
This man whom you wish not to detain under the ISA or the Sedition Act is taking us closer to the abyss. You suggested the Penal Code - may I ask precisely what provision under the Code will you charge him for so as to secure a conviction and put him behind bars? Your concern is with legislation that contravenes freedom of expression. Would the Penal Code or for that matter our common law tort of defamation not restrain that freedom? If so, would you not agree you might as well throw the wretched ISA at this uncouth lout.
I understand your need to come forth to condemn those calling for its application but if your answer to my questions are in the positive, I fail to see the logic in your reasoning.

Malik Imtiaz Sarwar said...

Anonymous @ 5.42 pm,

consider those sections that with rioting (s.147, Penal Code) and the instigating of rioting (s.107), or intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace (s.504).

These provisions are consistent with the proviso to Article 10(2)(a) which expressly allows for the enacting of provisions aimed at maintaining public order as well as impeding incitement to offences (his statement was clearly aimed at raising the spectre of racial riots). They are also necessary and proportional.

Even if I was wrong in my view on these sections, the ISA nor the Sedition Act is not the way to go.

Please feel free to use your name or a pseudonym next time.

MIS

Richiee said...

If I am to make a decision based on my gut feel, I would say yes, invoke the ISA on Ahmad. Let's see whether UMNO will practise double standard on this matter. But if one is to examine the use of ISA and the circumstances when it was invoked previously, it is clear that ISA is a draconian law. No one should be held under detention without a trial. As much as I would like to agree with those who want to invoke ISA on Ahmad, I would agree with Malik that Ahmad should be charged and trial in court instead.

We should not be a hypocrite i.e. calling for the ISA to be abolished but at the same time use it to punish Ahmad for making racial remarks which may provoke racial tension.

Avatar said...

Dear Malik,

I wholeheartedly agree with you that ISA should not be used. Two wrongs does not make a right.

Let's not blow the whole issue out of proportion. Granted, what he said was somewhat offensive. If so, one should just turn a deaf ear to it, just like the Buddha.

The Buddha on Criticisms
A man met the Buddha on the street one day and began to call him mean and ugly names. Buddha listened quietly and thoughtfully until the man ran out of epithets, and had to pause for breath.

“If you offer something to a man and he refused it, to whom does it belong?” asked Buddha.

The spiteful man replied, “It belongs, I suppose, to the one who offered it.”

Then Buddha said, “The abuse and vile names you offer me, I refuse to accept.”

The man turned and walked away.

xonar said...

where is our minister of home affair Mr ISA who threatened to use the act on RPK?
why there is not a single word from this moron?
we should banished this moron if he ever used the word ISA again.

Anonymous said...

Funny isn't it, the ever so capable minister of home affairs is suddenly so quiet about this issue. What happened to Botak, lost his voice?

Food for thought

mca7forjustice said...

Whimpering MCA, Gerakan and MIC Leaders Wilt in Face of Big Brother UMNO!
So, the BN component parties have agreed to allow UMNO to decide on any action to be taken against that unworthy recipient of the Datukship title Ahmad Ismail, for uttering racist remarks against Chinese.

What a useless bunch of leaders we have in MCA and Gerakan and MIC. This Ahmad goes round openly flouting the ISA and Sedition Act and what not, yet MCA, MIC and Gerakan do not demand at the BN Supreme Council meeting today that such a seditious utterer be charged under the existing laws. How they can delegate the actions to be taken against Ahmad, to UMNO solely, is beyond comprehension. Should not the law of the country apply to Ahmad instead? Should the police not take steps to charge Ahmad instead? How is it that the MCA, MIC and Gerakan leaders do not insist at the BN Supreme Council Meeting that the law be applied to Ahmad, instead, they are preferring internal UMNO party procedures take precedent over the laws of the land?

If this is the case, then it is best that ISA and Sedition Act be abolished altogether, for it seems that the present government is indulging in selective prosecution yet again. And in fact, this is our stand, that the ISA and Sedition Act are draconian laws that should be abolished for it is increasingly appearing to be as a tool to be used only when convenient. If UMNO procedures can take precedence over these laws, then there really is no point in having these laws!



www.mca74justice.blogspot.com

Old Fart said...

Actually something good may come out of Ahmad Ismail after all.

He has called for Malays, Mauslims to unite in the position he has taken where he has set for himself the demon to be sanctioned as the Chinese.

But I don't see that happening.

In fact Gerakan's Wanita Chief has also uttered the fear of another May 13 if Ahmad was not stopped in his track. Which simply means the non-Malays in the BN too continue to buy into the possibility of another May 13 kind of event happening.

But really is it? I have previously called the May 13 threat to be a bogey and no more. The Bersih rally of Nov 10 2007, showed to all who were there, taht May 13 was never going to happen again.

Ahmad will find himself very much alone after having made the call as the majority of the Malays ignore it as they cannot see truth to his claims. Obviously the sychophants in UMNO whose IQs have hardly reached developmental stage are about the only ones uttering such threats and making those calls for unity.

But the fact that such calls for unity are being made by bigots with selfish personal interest is certainly not lost onthe Malay public and it is obvious to see he is being slighted and ignored.

If indeed UMNO finally censures him it will not be because what he said is offensive to them, but it will be a recognition finally that UMNO itself cannot rely on "Malay unity" for the purposes of "defending the rights of the Malays, Malay language, culture and religion" to garner sympathy and support.

Those labels and buntings have gone well past their use by dates and I believe the majority of Malays are not going to be easily carried away by it. Not that the message is lost or useless. At the very least the messenger has lost all credibility.

Umbrage said...

Imtiaz,
I am anonymous @ 5.42pm. I will discard that and use from now on the pseudonym "Umbrage".

The 3 sections you cite require proof of intention beyond reasonable doubt. Going by what has happened, your prosecutor will have a very difficult time trying to prove mens rea. And if that is so, that mischief maker goes off scot-free and that is an outcome I am not in favour.
You agree that although these provisions are "aimed at maintaining public order as well as impeding incitement to offences", they also curb in some ways the freedom of expression (the premise upon which you reject using the ISA or the Sedition Act).
My point is this: all the laws that you want to use on this man do curtail that freedom of expression. If your suggestion was confined to the ISA, I will agree since this is a hideous law that detains people indefintely without trial. But the Sedition Act does precisely what the 3 provisions in the Penal Code do as well i.e. stop you from ventilating your grievances albeit in a very loud and threatening manner. There is here a limited period of imprisonment as opposed to the ISA and more importantly the accused has his oportunity to know what he had done wrong and can defend himself against those charges.

I would prefer to charge him under this legislation since I have a better chance of securing a conviction.

Anonymous said...

If anything, the call to arrest Ahmad under ISA calls for its removal. Now Gerakan and MCA are acting like dependents on a draconian law instead of justifying their cause based on more basic rights.

In other words even Gerakan and MCA are giving up on basic rights which speaks dangerously of the state of private rights in this country...

[T] said...

I never understand this. Why Ahmad Ismail will not have ISA used on him, but the three nnnnamely RPK, Tan and Teresa Kok was detained instead?

Is this human rights provide for us? generally, where is the respect? Is justice applicable in this sense?